ST. PETERSBURG -- David Price threw for the first time prior to Monday afternoon's contest against the Marlins at Tropicana Field.
"It felt really good. It felt normal, so it was a very positive day," Price said.
Price left his May 15 start against Boston with a left triceps strain, and he went on the disabled list the following day. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner has said in recent days that he felt no pain. He allowed that Monday's activity brought him a sense of relief.
"Yeah, getting out there playing catch and feeling as good as I did, it's definitely a relief," Price said. "I didn't feel like I was going to have negative news at this point. But it's definitely good to have a positive."
When asked about his return, Price noted that he needed to "buy into" his rehab. He referred to watching Rays head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield give a talk to a group of youngsters.
"He said it's like a scab," Price said. "If you pick at it, it's going to continue to bleed, and the scab is going to be there a long time. You have to give it time to heal. It's the same thing that's going on right now. We don't want any setbacks. I want to come back and stay back."
Rays manager Joe Maddon said that he talked to Porterfield, and "he was pretty impressed" with what he saw from Price on Monday.
"He thought he threw pretty well, actually, better than he thought he was going to throw today," Maddon said. "Nothing too strong [to report] right there, except he's doing pretty well."
Rays pay tribute to veterans at the Trop
ST. PETERSBURG -- Monday's Memorial Day celebration at Tropicana Field saw the Rays and the Marlins wear specially designed caps and jerseys featuring an authentic military digital camouflage design licensed from the United States Marine Corps.
All 30 Major League teams donned the gear on Monday.
On the field prior to the game, the AVAST Amputee Color Guard, the only amputee color guard in the United States, presented the flag, which will be shipped to New York to represent the Rays at the 2013 All-Star Game as a part of the Tribute for Heroes initiative.
Master Sgt. Harry Bounds performed the national anthem and Paul F. Utter and service dog Ellie threw out the first pitch, representing Southeastern Guide Dogs Paws for Patriots.
The Rays also participated in the National Moment of Remembrance, along with all of Major League Baseball, by holding a moment of silence at 3 p.m.
Former Rays Martinez, Dietrich visit Trop with Marlins
ST. PETERSBURG -- Miami showed up at Tropicana Field with a healthy dose of Tampa Bay flavor on its roster.
Former Rays first baseman Tino Martinez is the Marlins' hitting coach and former Tampa Bay pitching coach Chuck Hernandez is Miami's pitching coach.
Casey Kotchman is on the team, but he is on the disabled list. The rest of the list of former Rays includes Justin Ruggiano, Nick Green, Chad Qualls and Derek Dietrich.
"It's quite a homecoming," said Rays manager Joe Maddon of the contingent.
Ruggiano noted that it was always nice to visit Tropicana Field.
"So many memories here and good memories, especially the playoffs and all of that stuff," Ruggiano said. "It's always great to come back here."
Dietrich never played in the Major Leagues for the Rays, but he was drafted by Tampa Bay out of Georgia Tech, and he advanced through the Rays' organization until he was traded in December for Yunel Escobar.
"The trade was a blessing, and I knew right away I had a chance to help the Marlins," Dietrich said. "I'm happy to be here, happy to have the chance to do this every day. This is what I've worked for, and I've enjoyed the ride so far."
Dietrich said it was special to play against the Rays.
"Tampa [Bay] was my first organization," he said. "They gave me my first opportunity. And no doubt I grew as a person. I grew as a player in the organization. And yeah, it will be nice to come back and see some of the guys that I know and some of the people I know. But I'm happy to be a Marlin and happy with the opportunity I have each and every day to help out on this side."
Rays Wives edge Marlins Wives in 'Citrus Classic'
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays Wives took a 13-12 win over the Marlins Wives in the "Citrus Classic" prior to Monday's Rays-Marlins game at Tropicana Field.
Sarah Fuld raced home from first base on Aly Shelton's single to center field to give the Rays Wives the walk-off win.
The Rays Wives used Monday's game to raise money through pledges to benefit the charity Autism Speaks. The Rays Baseball Foundation matched each pledge. The Marlins Wives played on behalf of Shake-A-Leg Miami, a foundation that works with people with physical, developmental and economic challenges in a marine environment,.
The Rays Wives won, 14-2, in Miami last year, but lost the initial meeting between the teams in 2011, when the Marlins Wives took a 6-1 win at Tropicana Field.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.